July 19th, 2010
10:33 AM ET
13 years ago

Palin: Ground Zero mosque an 'unnecessary provocation'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/19/art.palin.0515r4.gi.jpg caption ="Sarah Palin said Sunday that plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero are an ‘unnecessary provocation.’"] (CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the proposed construction of a mosque and community center near "Ground Zero," the site of the 9/11 terror attack in New York City, calling it an "unnecessary provocation."

"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts," Palin wrote in a Twitter post Sunday. "Pls reject it in interest of healing."

The former Republican vice presidential nominee also posted a plea to "peaceful New Yorkers," asking them to "pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real."

Plans to build a $100 million, 13-story center - focused on what backers describe as Islamic, interfaith and secular programming - has sparked an emotional debate.

New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to hold a key vote in August on whether an 1850s structure currently on the site of the proposed center should be granted landmark status. Even if landmark status is approved, however, it may not necessarily halt construction of the center.

Voices opposing the mosque dominated a hearing on the subject last week.

"It would be a terrible mistake to destroy a 154-year-old building in order to build a monument to terrorism," one woman said.

The heckling and intense nature of the hearing got to be too much for some participants.

"I'm ashamed to be an American today," said Rakif Gathwari, a Muslim-American, who reminded the crowd that people from many countries and religions died in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

"I want to prove to this hall that I am a citizen," Gathwari said, holding up his passport.

Some Muslim community leaders say the mosque could provide an opportunity for improving interfaith relations.

The project, according to a Muslim outreach group called the Cordoba Initiative, calls for the construction of a mosque, a performing arts center, a gym, a swimming pool and other public spaces.

- CNN's Deb Feyerick, Julian Cummings, Ed Payne and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. Nellie Bly, Minneapolis, MN

    What Palin really said and then later tweeted was "refudiate." Must be one of those words she got when she called the Dept. of Law.

    July 19, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. gg

    Irregardless of the arguments over the propsed mosque, Palin is nothing but a shrill provocateur.

    July 19, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Chris

    The ONLY thing that S. Palin and I have ever agreed on. And probably the last, too.

    July 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. BryonMorrigan

    I'll fight against the mosque at Ground Zero the moment that Christians decide to remove all churches from Salem, Massachusetts.

    July 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Stacey

    It's a mistake to allow such a building to be made in that area. I don't believe that all muslims are terrorists, but to build a mosque next to the site of where so many Americans were killed by muslim terrorists will be a resounding victory for the terrorists and a terrible defeat to Americans.

    July 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Kevin Collins

    I don't know why some people still take Palin even remotely seriously. All she's doing here is pandering to Christian extremists. And by her own logic, there should be no Baptist churches near the Oklahoma bombed-building because Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. And not all Islamics are terrorists, so her it's-a-monument-to-terrorism is puerile at best. Oh, and why do Tea Partiers support her being that Palin's Alaska is the biggest welfare state in the nation - no other state receives as much federal pork per-capita than any other U.S. state. Plus, she supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. She supported end-of-life counseling the year before she was against it. She's supposedly for small government yet her home state where she couldn't even cut it for a single complete term as governor absolutely loves that government pork. Support a principled lady Republican by the likes of Kay Bailey Hutchison or Susan Collins, not this hypocritical, double-standard fake.

    July 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Ryan

    sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy watching muslims and christians kill each other

    July 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Mainstream American

    That woman is an idiot.

    July 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Terry - Indiana

    This is another clear example of the hatred and bigotry found in the Tea Party and Republican Party. Palin claims to be a mainstream leader within both groups, so this is coming directly from their leadership.

    July 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Bill

    Stop putting her on the front page, CNN please stop.

    I haven't read the news article above nor am I interested in what she has to say. You can't be a respectable news organization and hope to get higher views and ratings by peddling unintellectual, almost-tabloid blather from non-entities. Get serious.

    July 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. John

    The only "unnecessary provocation" I know if is Sarah Palin. This is another example of her fighting for the "freedoms" of Americans.

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Dave Webster

    I don't know how many Americans are aware of this, but Christian Churches are banned in Saudi Arabia. If every member of the proposed Ground Zero mosque is willing to sign a petition addressed to Saudi King Abdullah requesting that Christians be allowed to build a Church in Saudi Arabia, I personally will solicit funds from Americans for said Church to be built. If the members of the proposed mosque do not agree that Christians deserve freedom of religion, then they have no right to request that a mosque be built near Ground Zero.

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Steve-O

    The First Amendment to the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Ironic that Palin is one of the strongest voices decrying the trampling of the Constitution in modern government, but in this case is quick to ignore the Bill of Rights to make room for some fear-mongering.

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Bob, Virginia

    Why must you report everything this idiot says, tweets, posts, etc?

    No wonder no one watches CNN any more.

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Cuanpaints

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Palin is right on this issue. Building that mosque would be like building some kind of homage to Japanese culture and religion at Pearl Harbor less than ten years after that attack.

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. bill

    what an insult–to put up a shrine for those who killed americans–if they can do this then we need to change the wording on pearle harbor and state it the way they do in japan. a shrine to those who kill americans

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. renobill

    Does this bimbo ever shut up?

    July 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Joshua Davis

    And I ask my Muslim friends in Afghanistan and Iraq to refute any churches, as that too will bring back reminders of the pain caused when hundreds of thousands died because of the Christian American invasion.

    July 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Palin is an idiot!

    Palin is a simple minded person. She has no clue of what her words even mean. Muslim people in general are peaceful people. She feels putting a mosque is like putting a al queda camp in the middle of New York. She is the biggest embarrassment to the republican party. If you don't feel that way, then you are just as ignorant as her! Palin 2012 so we keep an educated president in office for another four years!

    July 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Alex

    Following that logic, we should bar construction of Christian churches near each and every site of domestic terror attacks, from Oklahoma City to Millenium Park, to abortion clinics, black churches and gay bars. I'm sure mainstream Christians wouldn't object to being bunched together with their extremist bretheren.

    July 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Pete

    Is there any bandwagon this opportunistic ding bat wont jump on. Thank you John McCain for dragging this moron out of the wilds of Alaska.

    July 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. ps

    Isn't this the same Sarah that doesn't want government to tell private citizens what they can and can't do. Seems to me, it 's in the developers rights to build whatever they want on their land. If Sarah was half the woman and Christian she pretends to be, she would turn the other cheek and welcome the mosque as a gesture of peace and strength.

    July 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Jesse from Kansas

    Please stop covering her. Please. The only reason this non-entity is still in the news is because desperate news agencies continue to drool over her every word.

    July 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Debbie

    Another Palin "dumb" moment. She lacks knowledge of the Constitution, she in her mind thinks she speaks for Christians, but in reality she's a beauty queen with few skills. As age is setting in she is hoping to move into bigger political arenas. I will never forgive McCain for bringing this lack of skills person to the Presidential race. Maybe McCain had the hots for her, I don't know but what I do know is that "mental" slip by McCain killed his AZ votes.

    July 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. tj williams

    Sarah Palin needs to get a real job (one she will actually stick with) and stop trying to stick her nose into everything that comes up in America while she trolling for headlines and free publicity. If she has something to say, try holding a REAL press conference where you answer questions and validate your positions. Until then the press should IGNORE this harpie because she has no real solutions for ANYTHING.

    July 19, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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